Since leaving the Governor's office, David Paterson has had a seat behind a radio microphone -- until now. Paterson announced Monday that he has been nominated to a position on the MTA Board.
Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo named Paterson to fill a spot on the board. "Governor Paterson has dedicated his life to working for the people of this state and I am excited that he will continue his public service at the MTA," Governor Cuomo says. "Governor Paterson's energy, expertise, and experience will benefit the millions of New Yorkers who rely on the MTA every day. I look forward to working together as we continue to reform the MTA and improve service for New Yorkers."
The MTA board is made up of people appointed by the Governor, with some recommended by the Mayor of New York City and County Executives. In January, Nancy Shevell, who married Paul McCartney of the Beatles, resigned from the board. Members of the MTA Board are not paid.
Serving as Lieutenant Governor, Paterson became the 55th Governor of New York State in 2008 with the resignation of Eliot Spitzer. He served in the New York State Senate for more than 20 years, serving as Senate Minority Leader in 2003. As Governor, Paterson dealt with a serious budget crisis in 2009, which included the reorganizing of transit funding.
MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota issued this statement: "I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo's nomination of former Governor David Paterson to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. I have known the former Governor for 35 years and look forward to the opportunity to work with him again. He has long shared the Governor's commitment to our mission of providing safe, efficient and effective transportation to more than 8.5 million riders every day. Once confirmed by the Senate, former Governor Paterson will bring a unique and practical perspective, particularly with respect to issues affecting minority communities and disabled New Yorkers. I look forward to former Governor Paterson bringing to our board deliberations the charm, wit and compassion he has shown throughout his public life."
The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign says, "In 2009, Governor Paterson got the State legislature to approve more than $1.5 billion in new aid to keep fares down and transit capital repairs up. That hopefully will make him a spokesperson for future transit financial needs. The former governor will add badly needed diversity to the MTA board, and should make it more sensitive to the needs of African Americans and the disabled, among others."
Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, says "With another planned fare hike looming in January 2013, Paterson's experience as a governor and state senator will prove critical to working with Albany lawmakers to find new funding for our transit system, sparing overburdened New Yorkers yet another fare hike. Paterson knows well that straphangers can't handle another hit to their wallets--as Governor, he saw New Yorkers endure back to back fare hikes and reap service cuts in return. He also created new funding for our transit system. If anyone knows New Yorkers are tired of paying more for less and how to find fairer ways to invest in transit, it's David Paterson."
The New York State Senate has to approve the nomination.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun